8 Lifestyle-Related Factors That Increase Your Risk of Stroke

When the blood supply to a part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, brain tissue is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in a stroke, with the brain cells beginning to die within minutes. It causes a medical emergency that requires immediate attention to help avoid brain damage and other complications.Also Read – Diwali 2021: This Is How Varun Dhawan Is Prepping Up For Diwali Celebrations, Varun Dhawan’s Fitness Secrets Revealed | Watch Video

What are the associated risk factors?

Some risk factors for stroke are uncontrollable. Gender, age, and family history are among them. Many stroke risk factors, on the other hand, are lifestyle-related. By making a few simple lifestyle changes, anyone can lower their risk of having a stroke. Also Read – 5 Easy Ways to Keep a Tab on Your Sugar Levels This Festive Season

The following are lifestyle-related factors that increase your risk of stroke: Also Read – Skincare Tips: Want A Healthy And A Glowing Skin? Try These Amazing Japanese Beauty Tips Today | Watch Video

  • High blood pressure: the most significant risk factor causing a stroke. Hypertension is when the blood exerts more pressure than is healthy or normal, weakening and damaging blood vessel walls over time, increasing the risk of stroke (cerebral haemorrhage) or might lead to thickening of artery walls, narrowing the vessel, and eventually blocking it (ischaemic stroke).
  • Diabetes: makes it twice as likely as someone of the same gender and age with no diabetes to have a stroke due to high blood sugar levels contributing to the development of atherosclerosis. Diabetes must be kept under control at all times.
  • Atherosclerosis: a chronic inflammatory disease of the hardening of artery walls, a leading cause of strokes. It causes arteries to stiffen, become inflexible, and narrow due to cholesterol-laden ‘plaque’ deposits, destabilizing the artery’s lining and forming blood clots (atherothrombosis) that can either block the artery or break off and travel downstream in the bloodstream, with an eventual embolism.
  • High cholesterol levels: contributes to the formation of atheroma, a substance that adheres to artery walls and causes atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of the arteries).
  • Obesity: increased risk of a stroke; high-fat diet (especially saturated fat) and salt, but low in fiber, fruit, and vegetables might raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, leading to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you’re having trouble staying within recommended weight ranges, seek advice from a doctor or dietitian.
  • Lack of exercise: Obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol levels are all linked to a sedentary lifestyle and are significant stroke risk factors.
  • Alcohol: People who drink heavily, regardless of age, are three times more likely to have a stroke (especially a hemorrhagic stroke), making it critical to keep alcohol consumption under control.
  • Illegal drugs: Abuse of intravenous (IV) drugs heightens stroke risks due to blood clots (cerebral embolisms). Cocaine and other drugs have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and a variety of other cardiovascular problems.

Ischemic stroke is more likely in people who have Atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. This is due to inefficient atria pumping, allowing blood to stagnate and clot, parts of which may break off and travel through the bloodstream to the brain, where they block an artery, resulting in a stroke.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Stroke risk is increased by certain lifestyle factors.
  • People can lower their risk of having a stroke by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • To understand the overall probabilities of stroke, risk factors should be considered together.
  • Some possible factors for stroke, such as gender, age, and family history, are uncontrollable.
  • A person who has already had a stroke is ten times more likely to have another one.

(Authored by Dr Kumar Swamy. E, Consultant – Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore) 

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